Travel and Tourism in Colombia Boosted by Rising International Arrivals and Government Funding to Build New Airports

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ALBANY, New York, July, 27, 2016 – In 2016, the weak local currency in Colombia will increase the preference for domestic trips over outbound travel, states a report newly added by Market Research Hub to its vast database. It is also expected that the weak peso will continue to boost the growing inbound tourism as well. In 2015, international arrivals increased by 16.3%. In June 2016, an agreement was signed to end the 50-year conflict between FARC rebels and the Colombian government. This is predicted to significantly affect international arrivals, predict the report’s authors. These are some of the findings of the report, titled ‘Travel and Tourism in Colombia to 2020’.

The research says that travel and tourism in Colombia has been enjoying impressive growth over the past few years – 8.2% in 2013, 7.4% in 2014, and the aforementioned 16.3% in 2015. Consistent improvements in safety for tourists in Colombia have contributed to the consistent growth. The research report also highlights details about international arrivals, international departures, outbound trips, and inbound trips. As per the findings of the report, in 2015, there were approximately 2.3 million international arrivals in Colombia. By 2020, international arrivals are expected to reach 3.2 million, exhibiting a 6.70% CAGR from 2016 to 2020.

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The research also talks about the rising government support that is boosting the travel and tourism sector in Colombia. The Colombian government is planning to exempt all foreign tourists from the sales tax (VAT) of 16% on tourism services. In February 2016, at a tourist fair, the Colombian President, Juan Manuel, announced that a decree had already been prepared declaring the exemption for foreign tourists visiting Colombia and for those availing health tourism packages. This is expected to assist travel and tourism agents in Colombia in increasing the sale of tourist packages.

The study then focuses on the major factors expected to restrict the growth of travel and tourism in Colombia. The economic depreciation has adversely affected international departures, thus hampering the travel and tourism sector in Colombia. In 2015, outbound trips fell by 1.3% and expenditure declined by around 0.6%. By 2020, domestic trips in Colombia are expected to reach 32.6 million, exhibiting a 5.70% average annual growth rate from 2016 to 2020.

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As per the report, overcrowding at Colombia’s biggest airport, El Dorado at Bogota, is the primary challenge for the tourism sector. El Dorado was designed to serve 15 million to 17 million passengers every year. In 2015, with a total of 30 million passengers, the airport registered record-breaking passenger traffic. To ease the congestion of passengers, the Colombian government has invested US$375 mn in building a new airport, El Dorado II, by 2021. This is expected to further propel inbound and outbound trips, thus boosting travel and tourism in Colombia.

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